Dual Diagnosis in Detroit

A dual diagnosis is a condition in which a person has a mental health disorder and a co-occurring substance abuse or dependence problem. In order to effectively manage a dual diagnosis, treatment for both conditions is required. At Detroit Drug Treatment Centers, dual diagnosis treatment programs are designed to help patients manage and treat both disorders simultaneously.

Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Eating Disorders

The reward center in the brain is stimulated by enjoyable and gratifying actions. Stimulation from substances and alcohol produces the same gratification. Enjoyable stimulation can come from food as well. The same type of stimulation also blocks unwelcome, negative and painful feelings and emotions. As the brain learns that gratification blocks the negative emotions, the need for stimulation increases, developing an addictive cycle. When eating, overeating or feeling a sense of control by not eating are stimuli, eating disorders are created such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating.


People with depression commonly look for relief in readily available substances such as alcohol and illicit drugs. Since depression is an uncomfortable place to be, these substances help lift them out of it temporarily. Repression of negative thoughts and feelings is another motivation to use these substances. Once these substances begin to dissipate, the user must consume them again to keep feeling better. Once this becomes a cycle, addiction is present.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Current scientific thought is that both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and substance abuse are caused by brain chemical imbalances, People with OCD may self-medicate to repress compulsive thoughts and actions. As the brain chemicals thought to cause these disorders are activated and reinforced, the cycle of addiction develops.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD sufferers have experienced traumatic events affecting them for the long-term. These lasting effects include flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, aggressiveness, hostility and paranoia. Drugs or alcohol are used as a means of relief and escape.


Anxiety disorder makes life nervous and uncomfortable. Situations such as work, school or social events can be unbearable for someone with anxiety. People with anxiety want to function in these situations without the negative emotions. They may then turn to substances for relief. Alcohol, known to lower inhibitions, is a commonly seen choice for those with anxiety.

Treatment Phases of a Dual Diagnosis

An all-encompassing dual diagnosis treatment plan needs to incorporate the following elements:

  • Psychopharmacology: Psychiatric symptoms in an abuser may disappear once the substance abuse stop. Medication is recommended to treat any remaining symptoms.
  • Psychotherapy: Group and individual therapy sessions are elements in a total treatment plan to treat mental health and addiction issues simultaneously.
  • Behavioral Management: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective therapy, where specific coping skills are developed in response to negative thoughts and actions. The plan is put into action to improve everyday life.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment& Aftercare Services

Are you looking for full service alcohol and drug treatment centers? Detroit Drug Treatment Centers can be reached at (877) 804-1531. Dual diagnosis effective treatment and therapies are only a phone call away.

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